Home » Parks & Rec and Shade Tree commissions add to quality of life in Pennington Borough

Parks & Rec and Shade Tree commissions add to quality of life in Pennington Borough

by Lynn S. Robbins

At the October 2 Pennington Borough Council meeting, members of the Parks and Recreation Commission spoke about working with other groups within the community and government to enhance the services they provide to residents.

Commission members John Gasparine and Edward Krups shared information about the events and amenities they offer, including movie nights, sports, concerts, and the commission’s publication, Pennington Trail Guide.

The guide includes Curlis Lake Woods Preserve, Pennington Loop Trail, Kunkel Park, the connection to the Lawrence-Hopewell Trail, and the proposed Route 546 Bikeway. D&R Greenway Land Trust provided mapping services for the guide, and Pennington Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops help create and maintain bridges and trails throughout the park.

Teaming up with Pennington Library, the commission is co-hosting a movie and crafts night, Friday, October 13. The event takes place at Kunkel Park. Crafts take place at 6:30 pm, and the movie, “Hotel Transylvania,” starts at 7 pm.

Coordinating efforts with the Hopewell Valley Mobile Food Pantry and YMCA, they are looking for ways to collect food donations, said Krups. Gasparine said he is exploring grant possibilities to fund future projects. Potential sources include the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission and the New Jersey and U.S. transportation departments.

“We want to integrate recreation with education, and economic development,” said Gasparine.

Representing the Shade Tree Committee, Chair Kate Fullerton talked about planting “the right tree in the right location” to help ensure the tree survives and grows. She discussed the committee’s work with both the Borough and residents in planning, planting, removing, and caring for trees.

Fullerton said that while the committee advocates planting on Borough land, it is not possible at some locations because of limited space or cables situated on the property. With that in mind, residents can enhance their personal environment and neighborhood by planting trees on their own property.

An important aspect of their work is public education, she said, pointing to the Shade Tree Committee page on the Borough website. There you can learn how to plant and care for a tree, read and print a recommended tree list and a tree owner’s manual. The web page also has links for requesting a memorial or honorarium tree or for reporting a Borough tree that needs attention.

Health and Safety 

Stormwater Ordinance 

The Mayor and Council discussed the Borough’s storm water ordinance, and attorney Walter Bliss read recent amendments made since the September Borough meeting. The ordinance prohibits certain stormwater discharges from roofs, yard drains and other fixtures into the storm sewer system and public right-of-way. Davy noted that an important benefit of the ordinance is the prevention of hazardous conditions on roads and sidewalks that could be caused by discharged water and potential ice formations in the winter.

The ordinance will be presented again at the November Borough meeting, and the public is invited to comment. To view the ordinance and amendments, see the October Borough Council Meeting agenda.`

Water quality 

Council approved a resolution for Van Note-Harvey Associates (VNHA) to review the impacts of the recently proposed EPA regulations regarding Perfluorinated Chemicals (PFC) on the Borough’s water system. VNHA had proposed a study in May at the cost of $64,500, but has since reduced the scope of the project, bringing the cost down to $33,500.

Highway and street safety 

Borough planner Jim Kyle discussed Wells Fago’s request to change the zoning designation at the site of its closed bank on Route 31 from Highway Business to Highway Commercial. If approved, this change would allow the vacated building to be rebuilt as a store. Kyle voiced concerns that this could create traffic and safety problems at the intersection of Route 31 and Delaware Avenue, especially for residential pedestrians and high school students.

Davy and Council recommended that the matter be referred to the Borough’s planning board, and board chair Jim Reilly agreed.

Emergency Planning  

Davy appointed Chief Douglas Pinelli as the Borough Emergency Management Coordinator.

October Events

Pennington Library 

Council member Kate Angarone announced some October happenings hosted by the library:

* “Organize Like an Archivist: Taming Genealogy Records and Research,” October 11, 7 pm, via Zoom.

* “Outdoor Movie and Crafts Night” featuring “Hotel Transylvania,” October 13 at Kunkel Park. The craft session starts at 6:30 pm, and the movie at 7 pm.

Author talks:

* “African Americans of Central New Jersey: A History of Harmony and Hostility,” featuring local authors and historians Beverly Mills and Elaine Buck, October 24, 7 pm via Zoom.

* “A Lifetime of Learning,” a conversation with international best-selling author John Irving, who will discuss “The Last Chairlift” and his life as a writer, October 26, 7 pm via Zoom.

Trunk or Treat 

Officers Daniel D’Ascoli and Novin Thomas encouraged residents from Pennington and Hopewell Valley to attend Trunk or Treat, Saturday, Oct. 21, 5-8 pm at the Trenton Cyrus Lodge, 131 Burd Street. Kids can collect Halloween treats from residents, and families can enjoy hot dogs and burgers provided by the Pennington police department. You’re invited to dress up in costume and decorate your car. To register your vehicle, email an RSVP to [email protected] by October 14

The next Borough Council Meeting is scheduled for November 6.

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